Greater Manchester commits to better mental health crisis care

Man affected by mental health issues

Police, health and local authorities across Greater Manchester have firmed up their promise to improve care and support to people with mental health problems.

The crisis care concordat provides a framework for agencies across Greater Manchester to work together and share information to make sure people suffering a mental health crisis get the right care when they need it.

The agreement will be signed by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd and representatives from agencies including Greater Manchester Police, NHS, probation, fire and voluntary sector at an event on Wednesday 10 December at Salford University.

Vitally, the commitment to work together has already translated into real results on the ground with pioneering initiatives across Greater Manchester.

Last December saw the launch of the mental health triage scheme in Oldham which gives police officers 24 hour telephone contact with specialist mental health teams. This means officers attending an incident that potentially involves a person suffering from a mental illness can ring the triage number for information to allow the officers to direct the individual involved to the most appropriate service on attendance.

The scheme has now been rolled out across Greater Manchester and has resulted in quicker assessments for people suffering a mental health crisis and a reduction in officer time spent dealing with people with mental health problems.

A full evaluation of the Oldham scheme, carried out by Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University, will be presented at the event.

Tony said:

“This is a step forward in transforming the care and support people suffering a mental health crisis receive. But it’s also important to acknowledge there’s been a commitment from all agencies for some time now to work together, with the rollout of the triage scheme and the launch of Sanctuary projects in Manchester and Wigan to provide overnight support to people suffering a mental health crisis. Vitally, this is having a real impact and means vulnerable people are getting a better service.

“I will continue to drive forward this work, bringing agencies together to make sure that we continue to make strides in transforming how we deliver services and protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

Craig Harris, Director of Manchester’s Citywide Commissioning, Quality and Safeguarding Team, said: “As commissioners of health services we give our wholehearted support to this new agreement, which gives a clear, structured way of working with partner organisations to get the right help quickly for people facing mental crisis.

“This joined up approach means that health, social care and the police in Greater Manchester can work for a joint goal of providing a more holistic approach for people at a time when they need support, help and protection.”

David Wilkinson, Strategic Lead for Mental Health, Greater Manchester Police, said: “The signing of this agreement firms up the work we’ve already been doing in Greater Manchester to make sure people suffering from mental health problems receive the most appropriate service when they need it.

“GMP continues to work closely with mental health specialists to rollout training for officers so they know how to deal with people suffering a mental health crisis and how to access support services.”

Image credit: istock.com/badmanproduction 

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